Literature

Top 10 Must Read Classic Novels for Graduate Students

| July 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

Classics are usually considered boring, stale and much more yet one can deny neither their existence nor their importance. Reading broadens one’s image of life and heightens mind’s imaginative powers. Below is the list of Classic novels that I have chosen, these are not the best Classic novels but needless to say are a must read. Novels cannot be put in the order of 1-10 yet I have tried my best to list them for the reader’s convenience. If you are a graduate student and have literary taste then you should go through these top 10 must read classic novels.

Classis Novel

10. Pride and Prejudice

The author of the novel being ‘Jane Austen’, it is quite a spectacular one, witty, humorous, and thoughtful and inevitably revolving around the ladies of the early 19th century, and the required suitable men. Jane Austen is also considered the Stephanie Meyer of her time, though her novels teach morals and the inner conflicts remarkably. It is one of the best novels of 19th century. It has become a must read novel for all literature students but it focuses on social life of women of that age.

9. Moby Dick

A novel by Herman Melville and is considered by many as one of the greatest American novels. Moby Dick (The Whale) is a story of a sea wanderer ‘Ishmael’ and his encounter with a revenge stricken ‘Captain Ahab’ and his pursuit to capture a white whale as a revenge for his bitten leg. It is a perfect adventure book, with a monstrous sea creature and some crazy drunken men.

8. Dracula

Vampires! Who doesn’t know them! And who introduced the blood thirsty Count to the world? It was ‘Bram Stoker’, the author of the Gothic Horror novel ‘Dracula’. The mysterious Count living in a Castle like structure and the rumors running through the state of Transylvania are all put in danger when a guest arrives at the Count’s estate and discovers horrors beyond human anticipation.

7. Heart of Darkness

Have you ever heard of the name ‘Kurtz’? ‘Kurtz’ is the villain or Anti Hero of the short novel written by Joseph Conrad. It explores the theme of savagery versus civilization and puts quite a few questions in the readers’ mind. The tension and horror the novel puts one through is worth every penny as the truth is disclosed. The movie, Apocalypse Now, is based on this novel. Although a film can not replace a novel but it is worth watching. You should read novel before watching the movie.

6. Things Fall Apart

It is part of the African literature; ‘Things Fall Apart’ originally written in English by Chinua Achebe is the story of a leader named ‘Okonkwo’ and his life as affected by British colonization and Christian missionaries. It is a radical novel depicting African life, their tradition and their language. Here is an interesting thing to note that Things Fall Apart is an answer to Englishman’s Heart of Darkness by native African writer, Chinua Achebe.

5. Wuthering Heights

Going by the pseudonym of ‘George Eliot’, ‘Wuthering Heights’ is the masterpiece of Charlotte Bronte. The epic story of two star crossed lovers and their fate intertwined together; leading to destruction of themselves and their families. The lead characters, Heathcliffe and Catherine are both stubborn, ill fated beings and when Catherine dies; life becomes hell for the conflicted Heathcliffe. It is the best novel to read for women because it has been writer from a feminist point of view.

4. The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character

Considered by all as Thomas Hardy’s best piece of writing, ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ effectively portrays Hardy’s pessimistic approach towards life. The novel is well written, the language highly ecstatic. It is the story of Michael Henchard and his hypocritical life after he auctions his wife and child, drunk at a fair.

3. To Kill a Mocking Bird

The Pulitzer Prize winner and the Modern Classic of American Literature, ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee is a story of a closely wrung family and their black friend who is charged with the rape of a white woman, ‘Atticus Finch’, the head of the family and a lawyer tries to defend the accused of the injustice done to him. The determination and patience of Atticus Finch has served as a role model for many Americans.

2. A tale of Two Cities

A novel set during the French Revolution, written by Charles Dickens and considered as his best work. It is a love lore which revolves around three people, Charles Darnay, Sidney Carter and Darnay’s wife. The novel depicts vividly the French Aristocracy demoralizing the peasantry, and the London suburban life and its social evils. It can be said it is one of the most interesting novels in the world and the best novel by Dickens.

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde’s only novel is introduced with an insight into art, the artist and the relation between the two. This beautiful and passionate work tangled with the horrors of addiction to evil. The novel starts with a painter (Basil Hallward) and his model (Dorian Gray) working tirelessly to complete the painting; once the painting is completed, the immortality it gives to the innocent Dorian is a freedom he never experienced before.

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